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Six counties to market tourist sites jointly

27 January 2014, 11:38 Arap Yego

Bungoma - Plans are in top gear to jointly market tourist attraction sites in five North Rift counties and one in Western Kenya, Trans-Nzoia Deputy Governor, Dr Stanley Kenei has said.

Dr Kenei said the counties - Trans-Nzoia, Nandi, West Pokot, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet and  Bungoma - will save a lot of money if they market their tourist destination sites as a block, as opposed to each going on its own.

“The ambitious venture does not only make economic sense to the said six counties, but also gives the tourists visiting the region value for their money,” Dr Kenei said over the weekend at Mt Elgon Lodge, in Endebess constituency,  during a forum that brought together members of the Sabaot community to discuss their culture and identify tourist attraction sites in their area.

The deputy governor disclosed at the forum that was organized by the National Museums of Kenya that the Trans-Nzoia County government intends to renovate the Mt Elgon Lodge, which is near the Mt Elgon National Park, and also improve general infrastructure especially roads around the twin tourist attraction sites.

“The County government is also considering setting up a three star hotel around the Mt Elgon national park, as we have noted that accommodation for tourists is a problem,” he said.

Dr. Emmanuel Ndiema,  a Senior Research Scientist in department of Earth Science with the National Museum of Kenya,  the convener of the forum whose theme was dubbed ‘Our heritage Our Future, culture diversity for responsible development’, pointed out  that Mount Elgon area in both in Trans-Nzoia and Bungoma Counties has a number of potential tourists attraction sites including caves that have remained largely untapped.

He said that the two counties stand to benefit a great deal from the natural tourist attraction sites in the region including the rich culture of the Sabaot people, noting that all they need is to develop infrastructure.

Dr Ndiema however stressed the need to sensitize the local community on the importance of conserving their heritage and participating in projects and decision making activities concerning the sites.

“Preservation of the heritage in the caves in our area and around Mt. Elgon National park greatly relies on the community understanding, appreciating and embracing the sites as valuable cultural asserts which belong to them,” said Dr Ndiema.

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